Everton’s new signing, Demarai Gray and Alex Iwobi did their episode of Everton USA Live show after the club won the 2021 Florida Cup.
In the show that lasted about 17 minutes, including highlights of the Florida Cup final between Everton and Major League Soccer club, Millonarios, Demarai Gray talked about life since he joined Everton and how he has been getting along.
Recall that Demarai Gray joined Everton football club, on July 22, 2021, from Bayer Leverkusen for a transfer fee worth €2 million. The 25-year-old English left-winger was part of the players that followed Everton to the club’s United States tour.
During the tour, the Premier League club participated in the Florida Cup and beat Millonarios 10-9 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in regular time. The MLS side were the first to score before Everton equalized via a spot-kick which Demarai Gray executed perfectly.
Gray who played for Leicester City between 2016 and 2021 before he moved to German Bundesliga and then back to the Premier League, is the third arrival at Everton. Immediately after he joined the club, he connected so well with Alex Iwobi who has been playing for the club since August 2019.
“I feel like I’ve been here for a while”, Demarai Gray said. “I already know it’s a good place to be. As a group, it is very together.
“Alex, Mase, Ben, Moise, Michael…that’s the general dinner timetable. But around training, I’ve been speaking to everyone. Some teams have little groups but I haven’t picked up on that here, which is a good thing.”
Demarai Gray and Alex Iwobi are expected to be two of the most important players at Everton in the coming 2021-2022 season. The 25-year-old left-winger is already pleased with the tactics of the new coach of the club Rafa Benitez.
The Spanish coach replaced Carlo Ancelotti who left the club this summer to join Real Madrid. Just like many other players at Everton, Gray believed he would get better under coach Benitez.
“Very good, very good,” he said of Rafa Benitez.
“A very good coach and being able to work with him this first week has been good. He pays a lot of attention to detail, he is very precise with his work and coaching methods. He is clear with what he wants for the team and you individually.
“It’s been a good first week and there are already little parts of my game he’s onto me about, where I can improve and where it will benefit me. It’s been refreshing and it’s been a good week.”
“There’s been no easing in!” he goes on to say.
“I think he’ll be one of those managers where there won’t be too much praise, but more ‘improve, improve, improve’ but that’s what any player will want because, at the end of the day, we are here to learn and develop individually and as a team.
“I prefer that. It’s all good having a manager saying ‘well done to this and ‘well done to that but as players you know what you are good at. But if you have a manager who cares to stay on top of you until you get it right, or you are getting the results in the games, that is important.
“I would rather have that sort of coaching method behind me. I am very positive I will improve under the manager.”
On how prepared he is for the coming season, the new signing said: “I’m feeling confident.
“It’s a new season, a new chapter for me and I want to hit the ground running as quickly as possible, I don’t want to waste any time. Yeah, it’s only pre-season, but it’s good for me and my confidence. I’m feeling good. Penalties, and those types of responsibilities, pre-season or in season, I don’t mind stepping up for those types of things. It was just normal to me.
“Anthony wanted it but I kind of said to him: ‘Debut goal’ and all of that. He’s a nice guy so he let me have it. So it’s all good.”
On the part of Alex Iwobi, the 25-year-old Nigerian versatile football star took his time to reveal the most hardworking player at Everton. He believes that the captain of the club, Seamus Coleman works harder than anyone at the club. He claimed that the captain has been a good example for the rest of the club’s players.
“For me, Seamus. Seamus leads by example,” Iwobi responded when asked the hardest worker in Everton training.
Seamus Coleman has been at Everton since 2009. The 32-year-old Irish defender has played 350 times for the Merseyside club. He is one of the few players at the club that might end his career at Everton.
As for Demarai Gray and Alex Iwobi, they are seen as the future of the club. Iwobi still have until June 30, 2024, before his contract expires. Gray also has until June 30, 2024, before his contract expired.
Later today, July 28, 2021, Everton are expected to be in action against Pumas UNAM at the Camping World Stadium in Florida, for the 2021 Florida Cup playoffs. The kick-off time is 23:00.